Most consumers know that a diet high in fiber helps to keep them “regular.” Now Australian researchers have uncovered a surprising benefit of this often-undervalued dietary component.
Eating the right amount of fiber from breads, cereals and fruits may help avoid disease and disability into old age, according to a paper published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences by scientists from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia.
The researchers explored the relationship between carbohydrate nutrition and healthy aging by using data compiled from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a benchmark population-based study that examined a cohort of more than 1,600 adults aged 50 years and older for long-term sensory loss risk factors and systemic diseases.
Out of all the factors researchers examined—which included a person’s total carbohydrate intake, total fiber intake, glycemic index, glycemic load, and sugar intake—fiber made the biggest difference to what the researchers termed “successful aging.”
Successful aging was defined as including an absence of disability, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms and chronic diseases including cancer, coronary artery disease and stroke.
According to lead author of the paper, Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath, PhD, from the Institute’s Centre for Vision Research, the study is the first to look at the relationship between carbohydrate intake and healthy aging, and the results were significant enough to warrant further investigation.
“Out of all the variables that we looked at, fiber intake—which is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest—had the strongest influence,” she said. “Essentially, we found that those who had the highest intake of fiber or total fiber actually had an almost 80% greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life over a 10-year follow-up. That is, they were less likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression and functional disability.”
While it might have been expected that the level of sugar intake would make the biggest impact on successful aging, Ms. Gopinath pointed out that the particular group they examined were older adults whose intake of carbonated and sugary drinks was quite low. Although it is too early to use the study results as a basis for dietary advice, Ms. Gopinath said the research has opened up a new avenue for exploration.
“There are a lot of other large cohort studies that could pursue this further and see if they can find similar associations. And it would also be interesting to tease out the mechanisms that are actually linking these variables,” she said.
This study backs up similar recent findings by the researchers, which highlighted the importance of the overall diet and healthy aging.
In another study published last year in The Journals of Gerontology, Westmead Institute researchers found that, in general, adults who closely adhered to recommended national dietary guidelines reached old age with an absence of chronic diseases and disability, and had good functional and mental health status.
Mediterranean Diet May Decrease Inflammation
Eating a Mediterranean style diet can decrease levels of the inflammatory marker C-reative protein, which is linked to aging, according to an EU-funded project called NU-AGE. At a conference in Brussels, researchers presented that a NU-AGE Mediterranean style diet tested in the project significantly decreased the levels of this protein, which is one of the main inflammatory markers linked with the aging process. Another positive effect of this diet was that the rate of bone loss in people with osteoporosis was reduced. Other parameters such as insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular health, digestive health and quality of life are yet to be analyzed.
NU-AGE is a five-year research project involving academics from European research institutions. The intention is to better understand the nutritional needs for an improved quality of life in the over 65-year-old members of the EU.
“This is the first project that goes in such depths into the effects of the Mediterranean diet on health of the elderly population,” said Prof. Claudio Franceschi, project coordinator from the University of Bologna, Italy. “We are using the most powerful and advanced techniques including metabolomics, transcriptomics, genomics and the analysis of the gut microbiota to understand what effect the Mediterranean style diet has on the population of over 65 years old.”
A new personally tailored, Mediterranean style diet was given to volunteers to assess if it can impact the aging process. The project was conducted in five European countries: France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the U.K. and involved 1,296 participants. There are differences between men and women as well as among participants coming from the different countries. Volunteers from five countries differed in genetics, body composition, compliance to the study, response to diet, blood measurements, cytomegalovirus positivity and inflammatory parameters.
NU-AGE’s researchers also looked at socio-economic factors of food choices and health information as well as the most significant barriers to the improvement of the quality of a diet. As with biological markers, considerable country differences were seen when comparing several aspects—for instance on overall nutrition knowledge. In France and the U.K., more than 70% of participants thought they had high nutrition knowledge while in Poland only 31% believed so. Also, when elderly people buy food products, there are country differences in the attitudes toward nutrition information on the food labels (e.g., what is important for a person from Poland may not be as important for a person from Italy). In addition, participants from different countries understand and trust nutrition claims differently. Participants from the Netherlands and the U.K. appeared to understand nutrition claims better than participants from France, followed by those from Poland and Italy. In terms of trust, more than 40% of Italian participants thought that nutrition claims on food products are reliable, while only 20% of British participants had the same opinion (on reliability of these claims).
DSM Introduces New Skin Imaging Method
DSM Personal Care has presented a new methodology enabling the personal care industry to visualize the effectiveness of facial skin moisturization. The new method came about through DSM’s epidermal science platform CORNEOCARE, in cooperation with partners from industry and academia. Presenting this novel approach at the ISBS World Congress in Lisbon in June 2016, DSM lead scientist Rainer Voegeli received the Johann Wilhelm Ritter Award for Innovative Skin Imaging.
Studies show that dry facial skin can affect seven out of 10 women. This data is also supported by DSM’s own consumer research. For example, a recent consumer study performed in the U.K. confirmed that 90% of women suffer from dry skin, posing a great challenge for the industry, as the moisturization topic seems to be even harder to tackle than anti-aging.
DSM developed an intensive partnership network through its CORNEOCARE platform, with partners including Newton Technologies, AVR Consulting Ltd and the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. The aim of the platform is to advance understanding of the epidermis with the help of novel methodologies and to develop innovative products that will address consumer needs relating to cosmetic dry skin.
Previous DSM research had already shown that dry skin conditions can vary greatly depending on the part of the body affected. This means that single point measurements of skin hydration are not sufficient to evaluate the effectiveness of cosmetic facial moisturizers. With this novel approach, skin hydration and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) were measured on 30 pre-defined facial sites using digital facial imaging technology. The bio-instrumental data was then precisely linked to the corresponding facial positions and the data between the sites interpolated to obtain a value for all pixels of the image. Finally, color maps were generated that continuously displayed facial skin hydration and TEWL, allowing more visual and thus easier interpretation. Remarkable skin hydration and TEWL gradients were found within short distances.
For proof of concept, DSM ran a 28-day study with a moisturizing cream including PENTAVITIN and Niacinamide PC. DSM was able to demonstrate—and more importantly visualize—how a cosmetic moisturizer can benefit the different facial sites.
Speaking of this new methodology, one of its creators, Rainer Voegeli, senior scientist of skin biology at DSM, commented, “Moisturizing products need to take account of the different characteristics of various facial anatomical locations. The new methodology will help ingredient and skin care product manufacturers to better evaluate the effectiveness of moisturizing care and boost the value proposition of their products.”
Croda Acquires Encapsulation & Delivery Technology
Adding new technologies to its range of ingredients for the personal care industry, Croda International has acquired the technology portfolio of Inventiva Ltd, based in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
The acquisition brings with it a suite of market proven technologies, strong customer relationships in Brazil and South America, good scientific data and leading knowledge. It will form the basis of a research and technology platform for the encapsulation and delivery of Croda’s products, providing a new dimension in the company’s innovation program for personal care, as well as anticipated opportunities in Croda’s other market sectors.
“The capabilities of Inventiva and experience of its team are exciting additions for Croda,” said Marco Carmini, managing director, Croda Latin America. “They will allow us, in the short term, to expand our product offering within personal care and enable us to develop, in the future, new and exciting ingredients to meet the needs of consumers in this and other market sectors.”
Inventiva was founded by two entrepreneurs, Dr. Renata Raffin and Candice Felippi, MSc, in 2008 with the aim of developing and manufacturing encapsulated systems for supply mainly to the personal care industry. Dr. Raffin said, “Everyone at Inventiva is very happy to be joining Croda through this acquisition. It will enable our technology and product portfolio to reach many more potential partners and new investment means that the team can focus on developing new products for new application areas.”
Ms. Felippi added, “The opportunity to increase the global use of our delivery system technologies is very promising, and we are excited by the ability to greatly improve the marketing and sales of our products through Croda’s expertise and worldwide network.”
Older Women Seek Products for Confidence
Companies promoting beauty products should reconsider current methods when targeting older women, as few claim to use cosmetic products to look younger. Instead, the majority claim they use them to look good and feel confident.
This is one of the findings of a study by Dr. Carolyn Mair and Soljana Cili, from the London College of Fashion, who presented their research in April 2016 at the British Psychological Society’s 2016 Annual Conference in Nottingham.
More than 500 women (aged 40 to 89) took part in an online survey with questions on their use of make-up, how they viewed advertisements aimed at their age group, how they perceived advertising and the impact of this on their self-worth.
The results showed that 62% used make-up daily and that only 3% used it to look younger. The majority used it to look good (52%) and feel confident (28%). Generally, the participants viewed their representation in advertising negatively, with more than a third saying it made them feel bad about their appearance and nearly half found it annoying.
“Middle-aged and older women feel underrepresented or not represented realistically in the media, which affects their confidence and feelings of self-worth,” said Dr. Mair. “They also dislike the young, airbrushed, or cosmetically-altered models used, as they struggle to relate to them, and consequently, to the products. It would be a step in the right direction if advertisers could reconsider some of their marketing strategies and focus less on how a product makes a woman look younger and more about how the product can make her feel good about herself. Using older models would also make these women feel valued and less invisible in society.”
Health Canada Approves Claims for Monteloeder’s NutroxSun & PLX
Health Canada has issued approvals to Monteloeder for the use of eight health claims relating to two of its botanical ingredients. The authority has passed down a positive decision for three claims in relation to Monteloeder’s sun-care-from-within ingredient NutroxSun and five more linked to PLX, its sports nutrition bioactive. The wave of positive verdicts means dietary supplements containing these two natural specialty ingredients can now carry the claims in question on their labels when marketed in Canada.
The three claims approved by Health Canada for NutroxSun are as follows: Helps to improve the skin’s response to small amounts of UV-induced oxidative stress; Helps reduce wrinkle depth and increase skin elasticity; Provides antioxidants.
The five claims authorized for PLX are: Helps with the management of joint discomfort due to sport injury; Improves lipid profile (HDL); When taken by healthy persons in combination with regular exercise, helps decrease muscular (myoglobin) and hepatic (gamma-glutamyl transferase) damage markers; Helps to increase the activity of antioxidant enzyme catalase (lymphocytes and erythrocytes) when combined with regular exercise; Consumption helps increase the activity of glutathione-dependent antioxidant enzymes in erythrocytes when combined with regular exercise.
“Canadians are famous for their love of the outdoors, and we’re confident they will find the proven benefits of NutroxSun and PLX to be very appealing,” said Fernando Cartegena, head of global marketing at Monteloeder. “We’re delighted that Health Canada has reviewed the science for these ingredients and found it to be strong. The eight approvals they have granted us will open up a world of opportunities for our customers in this important market.”
NutroxSun is a blend of natural grapefruit and rosemary extracts. According to the company, results from a clinical study demonstrated that it offers significant sun protection and anti-aging benefits in the form of better resistance to sunburn, increased skin elasticity, reduced skin wrinkle depth and decreased oxidation of skin cells. PLX is a proprietary extract from the leaves of the lemon verbena plant. In a recent peer-reviewed and published clinical trial researchers found that it offered athletes significant performance benefits by tackling both the mental and physical factors that prevent recovery after exercise. Both ingredients are currently distributed in Canada by CK Ingredients, which is based in Toronto.
Plant Lignins May Boost Sunscreen Effectiveness
Most sunscreen products on the market today contain synthetic compounds that help prevent ultraviolet rays from damaging skin. However, many consumers are searching for better product performance from natural sources. As a step toward meeting this demand, scientists tested adding compounds from a variety of sources, including green coffee, soy and papaya to sunscreens. Researchers reported their findings on what kind of lignins worked best in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.
Shiping Zhu, Xueqing Qiu and colleagues showed that out of five types of lignin tested, organosolv lignin improved the sun protection factor (SPF) of sunblock the most. Sunscreen containing just 1% of this compound had double the lotion’s original SPF—it went from 15 to 30. A lotion with 10% organosolv lignin increased SPF even further, from 15 to almost 92, but excessive amounts of hydrophilic lignin such as lignosulfonate caused the product to start separating. More work is needed, but the results represent a promising first step toward the development of lignin-containing sunscreen, according to the researchers.
Natrol Adds to Beauty Line-Up
Chatsworth, CA-based dietary supplement manufacturer Natrol launched three new products in May 2016 that target beauty and inflammation: Natrol Skin, Hair & Nails, Natrol Biotin Plus and Natrol Extra Strength Turmeric. Focusing on skin health and vitality, both beauty formulas contain clinical strength lutein. Research has shown that the daily intake of 10 mg of lutein can help to improve skin hydration and elasticity, the company said. Research published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology suggested lutein helps protect the skin against exposure to sunlight and the environment.
“To date, lutein has primarily been associated with eye health, but it has been shown to have a significant effect on skin,” said Michelle Baron, brand manager, innovation, Natrol. “Most beauty supplements available in the marketplace do not include this essential ingredient for skin health.”
Natrol Skin, Hair & Nails focuses on skin health by helping protect against free radicals and oxidative damage from pollution and harmful UV rays, according to the company. In addition to lutein, the product contains 5,000 mcg of biotin, an important B-vitamin that helps strengthen hair and nails, and complexion enhancing ingredients collagen and hyaluronic acid. Additionally, it contains vitamins A, C, D, B12 and B6, along with copper, zinc, alpha-lipoic acid and horsetail.
The company’s Biotin Plus product features 10 mg of lutein and 5,000 mcg of biotin, helping to revive hair, strengthen nails and hydrate skin. Natrol Extra Strength Turmeric provides support for a normal, healthy inflammation response, heart and joint health, the company said. Turmeric is derived from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has been utilized in Chinese medicine for various conditions. Natrol Extra Strength Turmeric features CurcuWIN, a proprietary form of curcumin that increases absorption of curcuminoids.
PLT Health Solutions Introduces Collactive Collagen Complex
Morristown, NJ-based PLT Health Solutions, Inc. has introduced Collactive Collagen Complex in the U.S. Collactive is a 100% marine-based, all-natural ingredient composed of collagen and elastin peptides formulated in the same ratio found naturally in human skin. Collactive combines the two main constituents of the skin’s extracellular matrix and has an anti-wrinkle mode of action, according to the company, as elastin fibers give the dermis suppleness that complements collagen fiber tensile strength.
A study on Collactive demonstrated this synergistic anti-wrinkle action of stimulating skin to lift and tone sagging areas, and minimize lines and wrinkles while also increasing the skin’s ability to retain moisture. With a low molecular weight, Collactive is also water-soluble and fully digestible, making it an ideal anti-aging ingredient for a wide variety of beauty from within formulations. The ingredient is manufactured by Copalis, representing a cooperative of fisheries in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France—Europe’s leading port for fish processing. Collactive is fully traceable and sustainably produced, according to PLT Health Solutions.
Seth Flowerman, executive vice president at PLT Health Solutions, said the proprietary formulation with multiple complementary mechanisms coupled with its solubility and low effective dose make Collactive an ideal ingredient for the growing beauty from within consumer market in the U.S.
“A recent market report showed a growth rate for ‘nutricosmetics’ of over 11%—with a very strong showing by collagen and ready-to-drink beverages that focus on beauty from within. Collactive is an ideal ingredient for skin care—or beauty from within—because it is great for a broad range of consumer product applications,” he said. “Collactive has been demonstrated effective at a 2-gram use level, which compares favorably to other collagen ingredients that are recommended at 5- to 10-gram levels. Add the excellent sustainability and traceability profile of Collactive and this is an ingredient that will be highly attractive to consumers seeking innovative approaches to natural skin care.”
Collactive is extracted solvent-free from fish skin collected daily from 100% wild caught fish. The proprietary process creates a fine powder composed of 94% Type I hydrolyzed collagen and 6% elastin oligopeptides—the same ratio found in human skin.
The ingredient has a very low molecular weight, according to PLT, allowing it to be fully digested and enhancing bioefficacy. Collactive can be incorporated into a range of dietary supplement, nutritional beverage and functional food products, including clear and ready-to-drink beverages.
Nutrients like protein and calcium are important for maintaining and improving muscle mass and function.
Products made with whey protein and minerals from milk have the power to turn back the clock on a person’s age, biologically speaking, according to Arla Foods Ingredients.
Launching a new concept called “Change Your Body Age,” Arla Foods Ingredients said that consumers aged 50+ can’t do anything about their chronological age, but they can slow down their “body age” through good nutrition that promotes strong muscles and bones.
Change Your Body Age is the first of several concepts to be launched as part of Arla’s new campaign, Goodness of Dairy. The aim is to highlight how dairy ingredients are key to tapping into growing consumer demand for food that is natural, healthy and offers great taste and texture.
Change Your Body Age will play a central role in the Goodness of Dairy campaign. The United Nations reported that global life expectancy rose to an average of 70 years between 2010 and 2015, compared with 65 between 1990 and 1995. This demographic trend is set to have major implications for health and wellness. The composition of the human body changes with age. In particular, skeletal muscle mass reduces from about 48% when at age 20 to just 25% by age 80, while fat composition rises from 19% to 35% over the same time span.
These changes are associated with poor health, but can be addressed through diet and physical activity, according to Arla. Nutrients such as protein and calcium, in particular, have been shown to be important for maintaining and increasing muscle mass and improving muscle function. Calcium is also essential for ensuring strong bones, which can reduce the risk of fractures.
In addition, with the world’s population aging, the global over-50s economy will be worth an estimated $15 trillion a year by 2020, according to Nielsen’s Global Aging report (2014), which also warned that industries are largely unprepared to meet the needs of aging consumers.
“We mustn’t underestimate the importance of consumers aged 50+ and the opportunity that exists for companies that successfully meet their unique nutritional needs,” said Peter Schouw Andersen, head of science and sales development for health & performance nutrition at Arla. “They don’t just want to cope with life as an older person; they want to enjoy life to the full, and that means staying fit and active. This is a very sensible approach, too, since adults who are physically active are healthier and less likely to develop many chronic diseases than adults who are inactive.”
To highlight the possibilities for food and beverage companies to create products for consumers aged 50+, Arla Foods Ingredients developed a new Change Your Body Age product concept—an instant coffee enriched with 100% whey protein and natural minerals from milk, including calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Mr. Schouw Andersen continued, “The benefits of whey protein for muscle mass are well documented and it’s also been shown that whey protein is by far the highest quality dietary protein available. It is rich in amino acids and is absorbed quickly by the body, which makes it perfect for consumers looking to slow the process of time and reverse their body age.
Change Your Body Age is a message that resonates with the increasing numbers of consumers aged 50+, and our natural milk protein and minerals solutions harness the Goodness of Dairy to enable food and beverage companies to tap into this significant opportunity now and for years to come.”